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Words, Words, Words - Part 2: Infusing Vocabulary While Reading Decodable Texts



In this series, we've focused on introducing and discussing words while using decodable texts. Today's post focuses on infusing higher level vocabulary words while reading. (Check out the previous installment focused on decodable words that are unfamiliar to children.)


While the vocabulary within decodable texts will be limited/constrained based on phonics content, we can still teach other vocabulary words for oral language usage during lessons utilizing decodable texts. Words like hilarious, cautious, and champion. We call this infusing vocabulary. We think: Why miss an opportunity to teach higher level vocabulary, even in a simple text?


Want to try? Before meeting with students, preview the text, with the lens of infusing vocabulary. We find it especially helps to think about words that describe feelings or traits, but any kind of useful word will do–nouns, verbs, adjectives, or adverbs! 


Try it now. Take a look at just this page. Think about the vocabulary words that could be infused here:


Here are some words we generated:

  • Adjectives: Thrilled, delighted, elated, overjoyed

  • Verbs: Gather, assemble, congregate, celebrate, congratulate

  • Nouns: Teamwork, collaboration, celebration, outcome, champions


Big idea here? Select a word that will help students discuss and think about the text. Plan to

introduce the word before or after reading. Here’s a replicable process:


If Introducing the Word Before Reading:

  1. Introduce the word: “I want to share a word with you that will help us think and talk about this book and other books, too. The word is ___. Say it.”

  2. Provide a student friendly definition. 

  3. Plan to revisit the word after reading. We find stating a purpose like, "Let's read to find out...[when and why the characters are thrilled, why the characters congratulate Kim, etc.]."


If Introducing the Word After Reading:

  1. Introduce the word: “I want to share a word with you that will help us think and talk about this book and other books, too. The word is ___. Say it.”

  2. Provide a student friendly definition, attaching the meaning to the book. For e xample: "You know how we said the kids look really, really happy here? When someone feels really, really happy about something, you can say they are thrilled."

  3. Use the word to discuss the book. For example: When and why are the characters thrilled in this book?


Stay tuned for our next post in Word, Words, Words. Thanks for following along!


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